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Take care when cleaning lens from fungus
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:42 am    Post subject: Take care when cleaning lens from fungus Reply with quote

I have learned from experience that mixing chemicals to clean from fungus can be a dangerous operation.
In particular, to mix bleaches and ammonia is very dangerous. I recommend not to do this, because it can cause death to you and the persons near you, and to use different chemicals, but if you really want to use that, do it at your own risk, and remember to take all the necessary precautions, like:

- do the cleaning in the open air

- in cool air temperature

- mix only the strictly needed amount to clean a lens and not more

- wear a humid cloth in front of your mouth, sealing eyeglasses, and thick glovers

- make sure that no children and no animals can have access to the place you are doing the cleaning operation.

Remember that mixing bleaches and ammonia produces a deadly gas, and that mixing large quantities can cause an explosion, especially when air temperature is high.


PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

would the easier to get household mold cleaner also work?
It is Chloride based.


PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use distilled white vinegar. Not dangerous, works very nicely. Clean afterward with distilled water, and lens tissue.


PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was using a mix of ammonia and hydrogen peroxyde, which worked well for killing the fungus, but smelled bad and required "open window" operations ...

Now, i use Avene Cold Cream and Zippo fluid, which require a bit more time (about an hour) for cleaning, but works like a charm (and doesn't stink Wink ) ...


PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

indianadinos wrote:
I was using a mix of ammonia and hydrogen peroxyde, which worked well for killing the fungus, but smelled bad and required "open window" operations ...

Now, i use Avene Cold Cream and Zippo fluid, which require a bit more time (about an hour) for cleaning, but works like a charm (and doesn't stink Wink ) ...


I think problem with "weak" material they are not kill fungus 100%.


PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not white vinegar?

Does not good the job?


PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

estudleon wrote:
Why not white vinegar?

Does not good the job?


Fungus is very strong creature it can survive almost everything and grow again if their is humid, dark environment. I saw fungus in Nuclear Power Plant at dark , humid places in intensive radioactive environment. I don't know vinegar does only current clean only or give a resistance for surface for long term. Strong chemical make it's protein to liquid stage no chance to survive.


PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
estudleon wrote:
Why not white vinegar?

Does not good the job?


Fungus is very strong creature it can survive almost everything and grow again if their is humid, dark environment. I saw fungus in Nuclear Power Plant at dark , humid places in intensive radioactive environment. I don't know vinegar does only current clean only or give a resistance for surface for long term. Strong chemical make it's protein to liquid stage no chance to survive.


Wow !!

Thanks Attila for sharing your experience. Very usefull.

No, no vinegar. Thanks again.

Regards, Rino.


PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to say first dust spec is home to new fungus. After thorough cleaning only remedy is to prevent new growth with low-humidity storage.

Mold and fungus may be most abundant life form on Earth. Hope buddies never hear about these "murders" Smile


PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

siriusdogstar wrote:
low-humidity storage.


Most important thing from all that is right. I did made 3 yrs long test.

One lens was always on my desk collect dust, licking my bird and most of them times stay around 60 % humidity. There was plenty of light and never get any fungus even if was covered with some times food , seats (throw by bird onto). Some lenses was stored right on low humidity and get fungus so now universal receipt, but if you store right change is pretty high to prevent from fungus but not 100%


PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
estudleon wrote:
Why not white vinegar?

Does not good the job?


Fungus is very strong creature it can survive almost everything and grow again if their is humid, dark environment. I saw fungus in Nuclear Power Plant at dark , humid places in intensive radioactive environment. I don't know vinegar does only current clean only or give a resistance for surface for long term. Strong chemical make it's protein to liquid stage no chance to survive.


Attila wrote:
siriusdogstar wrote:
low-humidity storage.


Most important thing from all that is right. I did made 3 yrs long test.

One lens was always on my desk collect dust, licking my bird and most of them times stay around 60 % humidity. There was plenty of light and never get any fungus even if was covered with some times food , seats (throw by bird onto). Some lenses was stored right on low humidity and get fungus so now universal receipt, but if you store right change is pretty high to prevent from fungus but not 100%


So Attila, what you're saying is that whether you clean fungus with strong chemicals or white vinegar, if it is THEN stored in low humidity, they should work equaly well!!!! Razz Very Happy


PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, the dangers with using powerful chemicals and solvents is not only the "resurrection" of the fungus, but danger of wearing out possible coating in the glass. I'm not sure the coatings would respond any better to vinegar since, which, as far as I know, is alkaline in quality?


PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

larsr wrote:
Also, the dangers with using powerful chemicals and solvents is not only the "resurrection" of the fungus, but danger of wearing out possible coating in the glass. I'm not sure the coatings would respond any better to vinegar since, which, as far as I know, is alkaline in quality?


Vinegar is slightly acidic, which is what kills the fungus. And it doesn't harm the coatings.

I think I might do a test. Clean PART of the lens with vinegar, then leave it in the bathroom for a few months.


PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dnas wrote:
larsr wrote:
Also, the dangers with using powerful chemicals and solvents is not only the "resurrection" of the fungus, but danger of wearing out possible coating in the glass. I'm not sure the coatings would respond any better to vinegar since, which, as far as I know, is alkaline in quality?


Vinegar is slightly acidic, which is what kills the fungus. And it doesn't harm the coatings.

I think I might do a test. Clean PART of the lens with vinegar, then leave it in the bathroom for a few months.


Good idea ! Thanks! Keep one in dark, keep one without caps and let we see.


PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or what I was thinking about, was getting a lens with reasonably uniform fungus, and clean one half of the lens element with vinegar and leave the other half with fungus!!! Take photos. Then leave it in the bathroom lens caps on.

Then do the same with another lens, same, but with lens caps off.

Repeat same for a dry, bright location!!!!

Leave for a few months.

This way we KNOW the lenses have fungus, but we can see if it returns to the vinegar cleaned surfaces or not. And also if the moisture and light make any difference.


PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dnas wrote:
Or what I was thinking about, was getting a lens with reasonably uniform fungus, and clean one half of the lens element with vinegar and leave the other half with fungus!!! Take photos. Then leave it in the bathroom lens caps on.

Then do the same with another lens, same, but with lens caps off.

Repeat same for a dry, bright location!!!!

Leave for a few months.

This way we KNOW the lenses have fungus, but we can see if it returns to the vinegar cleaned surfaces or not. And also if the moisture and light make any difference.


Sound very good , try it please!


PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:17 am    Post subject: Cleaning lenses of fungus Reply with quote

In my limited experience of cleaning lenses, the fungus is very easy to wipe off using 'Windex' glass cleaner followed by lots of deionised water and a final wipe with lighter fluid. However, depending on the lens coating some marks will remain. Pentax and Canon coatings are hard and resist fungal attack but Konica coatings, and I suspect Minolta too, are softer and more susceptible to fungal damage.
The best way to prevent re-infestation is to also clean the retainer and spacer rings holding the lens in place. Generally the fungus gets into the lens from external moisture and dirt.
I'm very skeptical of the 'Ponds Cold Creme' treatment! It is possible that oils present in the creme have a refractive index similar to the lens coating and merely disguise the etching marks left by the fungal attack.


PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have a lens, where (on the outer edges of the front element), there appears to be something that might be fungus. Otherwise the lens is excellent; diaphragm working nicely, lenses scratch-free, mechanically mint. Optically a good sample, test shots came out sharp. Two questions for people with experience -

If I keep the lens in dry place and use it, could it be that the fungus does not grow?

What do you think - should I return the lens?

(edit; was very easy to clean - detach the front element carefully and clean the inside - like new)


Last edited by mikkokam on Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:13 pm; edited 2 times in total


PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KEEP IT! Fungus will never growing in if you keep it below 50% of humidity and lens get some light. Don't store with caps. If growing and impact picture quality perhaps 30 yrs later it will be easy to clean it.


PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila,

would you advice to always store lenses without caps to avoid fungus ?


PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Cleaning lenses of fungus Reply with quote

FD101 wrote:
In my limited experience of cleaning lenses, the fungus is very easy to wipe off using 'Windex' glass cleaner followed by lots of deionised water and a final wipe with lighter fluid. However, depending on the lens coating some marks will remain. Pentax and Canon coatings are hard and resist fungal attack but Konica coatings, and I suspect Minolta too, are softer and more susceptible to fungal damage.
The best way to prevent re-infestation is to also clean the retainer and spacer rings holding the lens in place. Generally the fungus gets into the lens from external moisture and dirt.
I'm very skeptical of the 'Ponds Cold Creme' treatment! It is possible that oils present in the creme have a refractive index similar to the lens coating and merely disguise the etching marks left by the fungal attack.


I've cleaned all sorts of different lenses, and I don't see much difference in "resistance to fungal attack". I do see differences in the distribution of the fungus though.
For example, Nikon & Olympus (and to a lesser extent Minolta MC/MD) lenses seem to be more likely to get some trendrils along with a large concentrated fungal point. In these cases, the concentrated fungal point will almost ALWAYS damage the Nikon coating and sometimes the glass. In the case of Olympus, it is often the case that concentrated fungal point can be removed without any coating damage. Minolta is in between.

Canon(FD), Minolta (MC/MD & AF), Pentax (M42 & K), Tokina often have a wide spread of very thin tendrils. Canon FD seems to be quite resistant to coat damage, but these often have MANY tendrils, and are often difficult to dismantle. Pentax suffers a little coating damage, which often produces a slight reflective discoloration, as does Tokina. Minolta is similar in this respect, but the later series of Minolta MD lenses and most of the Minolta AF lenses have sealed lens groups which often get fungus between them. These are impossible to clean.

I cannot recall getting a Konica len with Fungus. However, it's very common for Konica zoom lenses to get thick haze in some of the rear elements, which is often impossible to remove. This is also a common problem with Sigma 70-300m zooms.


PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Olivier wrote:
Attila,

would you advice to always store lenses without caps to avoid fungus ?



yes. light biggest enemy to fungus, cheap UV filter can protect front lens from dust. rare is harder part. I keep my lenses in big plastic boxes light can come throw on them it's protect them from dusts. Also I put humidity remover chemical to inside so I keep them always below 50% mostly around 40 % of humidity. I have a dedicated box for lenses with fungus, oldest one in box 3-4 yrs old none of them have stronger fungus now. even if some fungus farm also there.


PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila: great idea about the transparent boxes!
Currently, I have all my lenses in an aluminium suitcase - maybe I should invest in a transparent box for them and leave them where the sun shines in? The wife won't probably like that idea - have to find a place that is not so visible in everyday life.

The humidity in our house now (heating is on) is below 25% according to a cheap meter...

Filters: I read somewhere that UV-light could help keep the fungus away - so maybe one should use a non-UV-filter in front of such a lens?

Caps: it would be great to have TRANSPARENT caps. This could be an innovation to manufacture in China and sell at ebay... Smile


PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the clear box idea and really really like the clear lens caps idea! Very Happy

Careful box in sunlight does not overheat inside.

Careful clear lens caps does not allow focus sunlight through lens to light house or woods on fire.

With colder more humid days here now I am thinking how important to protect camera items from humidity before bringing indoors; thinking when moisture from air condense inside cold lens it is a lot and that condensed moisture has much more difficult evaporation path to navigate out, meanwhile once warm it activates fungi spores to grow some before it does eventually evaporate. I can easily imagine a lens continually brought inside from the cold without protection would fungus even though stored in drybox, because of trapped moisture.

I put camera & lens in plastic baggie outside, then bring inside and wait an hour until camera & lens are room temperature before opening. If I am sometime inside air conditioning cool I hope to remember to bag my stuff before go into hot outdoors.

"Bag & Seal Before Cold Into Warm!" may be most important fungus prevention advise, no? Surprised


PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quoted from pentaxforums:
If you can get the on your camera, they're great: any fungus they harbour is easily cleaned up with some clotrimazole cream.

True?